Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another Critics' List, another bad selection

I have talked about the critics' lists that are invalidated by a single entry before, and well, that is what I am going to be doing today as well.

My love/hate relationship with these types of lists is legendary and extends far back into the primordial days of Usenet and newsgroups. So when I happened to come across a list called the 25 Best Movies You've Never Seen, it caught my interest as both a fan of film and as someone who likes to trash these kinds of lists.

Now, truth be told, I've seen a majority of these films... there are notable exceptions, so I feel I am on firm ground as I approach this. And I admit that there are some really good overlooked movies on that list like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Three O'Clock High and Heavenly Creatures, and a few others that I haven't seen which intrigue me like Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane.

But there was a selection that just boggled my mind.

Bubble Boy

If you are not familiar with this work of ever so subtle comic genius, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular character AKA Jimmy, whom as you probably gathered, was born without a functional immune system and is isolated from the rest of the world and must live in a sanitized, plastic enclosed room. Of course, after a new neighbor moves in, played by the lovely Marley Shelton, Jimmy has a new lease on life... until she tells him that she is getting married in Niagara Falls. Jimmy then builds a plastic bubble suit, escapes from his home and seeks her out, while having "crazy" adventures along the way.

Yeah, it is just such wacky fun.

Put it this way, I'll watch it if it is on TV and there is nothing better on, but really it is nothing special. It is just one of those movies I'll consume if there is nothing else around. It is the cup of noodles of movies.

It isn't overlooked or missed. It exists, I know about it, and that is about it really. It isn't this huge cultural force that is just waiting to explode. It is just dumb Bubble Boy, and that's all it will ever be. The words "Best" and "Bubble Boy" should be mutually exclusive.

I wager the reason it appears on the list is because Jake Gyllenhaal was in Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain and Marley Shelton was in Grindhouse and Sin City, so the two names together seem like it would be a good thing, but it's not.

It is just a questionable decision all the way around.


gary said...

Good call on Three O'Clock High, MC. Seriously underrated flick.

Even though I haven't seen more than 5 of the movies listed, I'm pleased with Falling Down at #1. Saw it at the theater back in the day, got it on DVD now. One of my all-time favorite movies.

MC said...

Little known fact about 3 O'Clock High. Barry Sonnenfeld was the cinematographer, and it was the movie he worked on after Raising Arizona.

DutchBitch said...

You don't think Bubble Boy is the greatest movie ever made? Wow... I am so bewildered... I never thought.... ;-)

SamuraiFrog said...

I do feel a little cool because I've seen 20 of the films on the list. That's what I always hate about lists titled "The Best [Whatever] YOU'VE Never Seen." Well, they never seem to know ME very well.

But a LOT of their choices are awful. Girl 6? The Ringer? Come on.

MC said...

Dutchy: Indeed I don't. That honor belongs to Leonard Part 6.

SF: I was thinking that Breakdown was also questionable.